Knorr-Bremse acquires share in Israeli Artificial Intelligence start-up Autobrains

  • Knorr-Bremse has acquired a minority share of about 5 percent in Israeli start-up Autobrains within the framework of an investment round
  • Strategic investment of approx. USD 25 million in video perception software for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and highly automated driving (HAD)
  • The transaction ties in with Knorr-Bremse’s ADAS and HAD strategy for the commercial vehicle sector

Knorr-Bremse, the global market leader for braking systems and a leading supplier of other rail and commercial vehicle systems, has invested approximately USD 25 million in Israeli start-up Autobrains in return for a minority share of about 5 percent of the company. Autobrains supplies video perception technology for realizing system solutions for advanced driver assistance and automated driving.

“Today, we are delighted to announce our partnership with the Artificial Intelligence (AI) start-up Autobrains. Autobrains’ proven ‘self-learning AI’ technology has the potential to disrupt ADAS and HAD development in the truck industry”, says Dr. Jan Mrosik, CEO of Knorr-Bremse AG. The Autobrains video perception software operates in a fundamentally different way from traditional deep learning systems. Self-learning AI requires less data and computing power, which can significantly reduce development times and costs. In addition, it is independent from the underlying hardware. “This enables Knorr-Bremse to react quickly and flexibly to the various requirements in the commercial vehicle business, which is characterized by a wide variety of vehicle types with different installation situations and newly upcoming legislation. This flexibility is especially needed for certain markets in Asia. That’s why this strategic investment fits well into our ADAS and HAD strategy for the commercial vehicle sector,” adds Dr. Peter Laier, Member of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse AG, responsible for the Commercial Vehicle Systems division.

The cooperation is complementary to Knorr-Bremse and Continental’s existing partnership regarding radar and camera systems for driver assistance and automated driving.

Autobrains’ self-learning AI successfully interprets video data and navigates safely in all driving scenarios – even in unusual situations and edge cases where traditional supervised learning systems are least reliable. This improves traffic safety and helps accelerate the adoption of ADAS, as well as building the base for the utilization of Autobrains technology in the arena of automated driving. It also increases the accessibility of ADAS across market segments at a time when regulations are requiring more driver assistance capabilities in commercial vehicles.

Igal Raichelgauz, CEO of Autobrains, says: “We are excited to form this relationship with Knorr-Bremse and for their strategic investment in our business. Knorr-Bremse builds essential technologies for safer and more efficient transportation, and accelerating progress in this sector is a core mission of Autobrains. Our self-learning AI will help Knorr-Bremse deliver ADAS and HAD capabilities that are accurate, efficient, safer, and more flexible in comparison to conventional deep learning systems."

Karl-Thomas Neumann, Chairman at Autobrains, added: “Knorr-Bremse is the best partner for Autobrains as we together look to develop more advanced levels of assisted and automated driving. Safety and efficiency are essential to the commercial vehicle industry and, already, we see this industry taking the lead on the path toward full autonomy.”

In 2019, Autobrains emerged from Tel Aviv-based AI tech company Cortica, to develop ADAS/HAD video perception software for the automotive industry using a signature-based, unsupervised AI approach. A best-in-class video perception technology company, Autobrains has grown to approximately 80 employees, and is led by a highly experienced management and R&D team with expertise in perception software solutions.